The Super Eagles lost 2-1 to the Diego Maradona inspired Argentina and desperately needed a win against Greece in the final group match.
For the first time in the tournament, captain of the Super Eagles Stephen Keshi featured for the team and it turned out to be a great experience for Nigeria.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria made a triumphant landing in their first trip to the World Cup. Alas! The team achieved its objective.
Their 2-0 triumph over Greece, combined with Argentina’s 2-0 loss to Bulgaria, gave Nigeria first place in Group D.
The Greeks went home as the last-place team in the tournament. In their first appearance in the World Cup, they allowed 10 goals and were the only team not to score.
Nigeria got its goals from Finidi George, in the last minute before halftime, and Daniel Amokachi, on injury time at the end of the game.
Emanuel Amunike started the play that led to George’s goal by slipping the ball to him from the left side. George took a few strides down the middle of the field and chipped the ball over the head of goalkeeper Christos Karkamanis from the top of the penalty area.
Amokachi’s goal came on a blistering 25-yard shot to the upper right corner that that guaranteed Nigeria first place on the group.
“We were in constant communication with Dallas and we knew we needed a second goal,” said Clemens Westerhof, the coach of Nigeria.
“We wanted to stay here and play Italy. We didn’t want to travel.”
Nigeria was eliminated by Cameroon for a berth in the 1990 World Cup and Cameroon then became the darling of the tournament with its upset victory over Argentina on opening day.